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Remove door panel from 2002 Kia Optima.

Removing Door Panels On A 2002 Kia Optima

Gaining Access To Repair Power Windows, Door Locks, Side Mirrors, Stereo Speakers and More.

(Covers Model Years 2001 to 2006)

In This Article:

Side mirror cover is removed. Various screws are removed and then the door panel is pried away. Electrical connectors are disconnected to separate the panel from the door.

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Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 15 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician

Start:

This 2002 Kia Optima had six screws and snap clips fastening the plastic door panel to the metal door shell.

Here's a nice touch: the side view mirror can be removed without removing the door panel.

Inside of front door on 2002 Kia Optima.

 

Removing side-view mirror cover on Kia Optima.

I pried on the plastic cover next to the side view mirror. I used a rigid putty knife (with masking tape on the blade to prevent scratching)   and released the snap clips from the metal door.

 

To disconnect the speaker wires, I pried up on the lock tab with a small flat screwdriver and pulled the connector apart. Disconnecting speaker wire near mirror, Kia Optima.

 

Disconnecting side view mirror wiring, Kia Optima. With the flat screwdriver I pressed in the lock tab and separated the wire connector for the side view mirror.

 

IF I needed to remove the side mirror, I would use a 10mm socket to remove 3 nuts (red arrows).

Caution: Have someone hold the side view mirror when removing it. The mirror can easily fall and break or scratch the paint on the door.

Location of bolts for side mirror, Kia Optima.

 

Removing small plastic screw cover in door panel, Kia Optima. At the front of the door, I used a small flat screwdriver to pry off the center screw cover.

Caution: This cover can fly off and be very difficult to find.

 

Then I removed the screw with a Phillips screwdriver. Removing screw at front of door panel, Kia Optima.

 

Opening plastic screw cover near door handle, Kia. I opened the screw cover located behind the inside door latch handle by inserting the flat screwdriver in the notch in the cover and lightly prying.

 

Then with a Phillips screwdriver I removed the screw from the cover Removing screw near door handle, Kia Optima.

 

Removing trim cover around inside door release handle. I used a rigid putty knife and pried on the front area of the cover to release the snap clips.

Then I slid the plastic cover forward (with the door handle pulled open) to unhook it from behind the handle.

 

Back view of latch handle cover. Rear of plastic trim around door handle, Kia Optima.

 

Hidden screw in door pull, Kia. At the bottom of the inside pull handle I removed the screw cover...

 

...and removed the Phillips screw in the door pull. Removing screw in door pull handle, Kia.

 

Screw cover at rear of front door, Kia Optima. Then I removed the screw cover from upper rear area of the plastic door panel.

This fastener is only visible when the door is open.

 

Using a Phillips screwdriver I removed the screw. Hidden screw at rear of door panel, Kia.

 

Two screws along bottom edge of door panel, Kia Optima. With a Phillips screwdriver I removed the two screws from the bottom of the door panel.

 

I started prying at each lower corner with the rigid putty knife... Prying door panel from door, using putty knife.

 

Prying on door panel. ...and worked upward to release the snap clips from the metal door shell.

 

I pulled the plastic door panel outward slightly and lifted upward to remove it from the metal door shell. Lifting door panel from car, Kia.

 

Disconnecting electrical wiring behind door panel, Kia. Using a small flat screwdriver, I pressed in the lock tab on the electrical connector and then I pulled the connector apart.

 

I disconnected two more electrical connectors (arrow), and the door panel was completely separated from the car. Wiring behind door panel.

 

Rear view of plastic door panel, 2002 Kia Optima. View of back side of plastic door panel.

 

View of metal door shell with dust cover. Car door with trim panel removed, 2002 Kia Optima.

 

Removing The Rear Door Panel:

Back door, Kia Optima 2002. The rear door on this 2002 Kia Optima had a hidden screw that was not found in the front door.

 

Using the small flat screwdriver I  removed the center screw cover... Opening screw cover, Kia.

 

Removing screw. ...and then I unscrewed the Phillips screw from the upper rear of the door panel.

 

At the bottom of the inside pull handle I removed the cover... Opening cover hiding screw in door pull, Kia.

 

Screw in door pull handle, Kia. ...then I removed the Phillips screw.

 

Behind the inside door latch handle I opened the mounting screw cover with a small flat screwdriver. Screw cover, behind door release handle, Kia.

 

Removing screw for trim around door handle, Kia. Then I removed the Phillips screw.

 

I used a rigid putty knife (red arrow) to pry at the front area of the plastic trim ring and release the snap clips.

Then slid the cover forward to unhook it at the rear.

Prying trim cover away from door panel, Kia.

 

Back of trim cover, Kia Optima. View of back of inside door handle trim cover.

 

I removed the Phillips screw that was exposed after the cover was removed. Screw near door handle, Kia.

 

Screws at bottom of door panel, Kia Optima. Then removed the Phillips-head screws from the bottom of the door panel.

 

Using a rigid putty knife, I pried at the lower corner of the door panel and released the snap clips around the outside edge of the plastic panel. Prying door panel from door shell, Kia.

 

Lifting door panel from car. I pulled outward slightly on the panel and lifted upward to remove the plastic panel from the metal door frame.

 

I pushed in the lock tab and unplugged the electrical connector from the power window switch.

Then the door panel was separated from the car.

Electrical connectors, Kia.

 

Kia door panel, rear view. View of back of the plastic door panel.

 

View of rear door metal door frame with plastic moisture barrier. Door without door panel, Kia Optima.

 

More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Basic Mechanic's Tools
  • 10mm Socket
  • Rigid Putty Knife
  • Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Phillips Screwdriver

Materials Used:

  • None

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Written January 28, 2010